Routes Reconnected: Hamburg’s changes prepares it for a strong future
anna.aero: There was significant restructuring at Hamburg Airport this year. What has changed?
Gesa Zaremba: Looking at the area that is relevant for our airline partners, the existing Aviation Marketing team was split up, creating two new departments. On the one hand, we have Airline and Traffic Development, which is now part of the Aviation Division, and which I have had the honour of leading since August. Everything to do with obtaining airlines is covered there, along with travel agency marketing and support for corporate customers and tour operators. Right now, we are a team of two: Lara Muench, our Senior Manager Airline and Traffic Development, and me. But we look forward to being joined by another colleague at the start of 2021.
The rest of the Aviation Marketing team, led by Joergen Kearsley, have moved to the Center Management Division as the Competence Center Market Insights & Analysis. This department brings together as a central unit the formerly decentralised market research departments of the Aviation, Non-Aviation, and Customer Experience Divisions.
This restructuring makes sense, because it enables us to make better use of the individual competencies within the business areas. But we still continue to work very closely together.
anna.aero: For the past three years, Hamburg Airport recorded more than 17 million passengers per year. What’s it looking like this year?
Zaremba: The COVID-19 crisis is hitting the whole industry very hard, and as Germany’s fifth-largest airport, we have not been immune. There has been a massive collapse in passenger figures since March 2020, although relative to other German airports we are doing quite well, with a lower decrease than the German Airport average. We expect nearly five million passengers for this year.
In cooperation with our airline partners, we are working to make sure that our customers see air travel as a safe process. We are really thrilled to have just won the acclaimed ACI and Sky Trax Award for Hamburg Airport’s exemplary implementation of safety and hygiene measures.
anna.aero: What are your expectations for 2021?
Zaremba: We hope to see a recovery in passenger figures by the end of March 2021 at the latest, so that we can return to some sort of normality and experience some growth in the summer. If there are rapid tests delivering reliable results available across the board, and if there’s a vaccine on the market, people will travel again. The rapid antigen test is already being trialed on some routes, e.g. Hamburg to Vienna and Munich.
At the airport, and together with our airline partners, we are preparing for the time demand starts climbing again. When that day comes, we want to have a good offer ready for our customers.